Here is a list of Do’s and Don’t for what to get your pet this Christmas.
- Fleas- these pests can come into your home on your Christmas tree or hitch a ride on your pant leg. Don’t think the cold weather means you don’t need to worry about these critters and don’t forget your flea treatment.
- Ticks- like fleas, don’t think the cold means these pests are gone. Ticks can thrive in temperatures as cold as 4 degrees Celsius and would love a meal from your warm pet. Cold weather seasons are also when the black-legged tick is in its larval stage, so at this point, you are unlikely to see the juvenile tick on your pet, but it can still transmit harmful diseases like Lyme.
- Pancreatitis- we may love all the food that comes with the holiday season but overindulging can be harmful to your pet, be cautious with sharing the Christmas turkey.
- Rawhide- this popular chew can cause intestinal obstruction in dogs when swallowed whole. It is often also processed with harmful chemicals which may cause GI upset in our furry friends.
- Puzzle Feeders and Food Dispensing Toys- Most of these are found in the canine section of your pet store but can be used for both cats and dogs (there are some cat specific feeders you can purchase as well). Making meal time game time is a great way to keep your pet busy and entertained- especially when it’s too cold to go outside for long play sessions
- Paw wax or boots- if Fido has sensitive feet and doesn’t like the cold cement or salt on the sidewalks then a bottle of paw wax will help protect his feet from the elements on long winter walks
- Raised food and water dishes- If your canine pal is starting to go grey and slowing down, then a new set of raised dishes will make mealtime easier for your senior friend.
- Low fat treats- Single ingredient treats like freeze-dried liver or chicken breast (carried by your local veterinarian 4 Paws!) make a healthy and delicious treat, without the risk of pancreatitis that comes with sharing your holiday meal. If your pet has food allergies we also carry kangaroo jerky-so there is something for everyone, and the best part is, all of these treats are good for cats or dogs
- New toys- whether your dog likes to chew on rope toys or your cat loves to chase catnip mice (also available at 4 Paws this month to raise money for our Gallagher fund) there is a toy for every pet out there. Find out what they like and get them something new! Just remember always to watch your pet when they are playing to make sure they don’t swallow any small pieces.
Written by: Dr. Stephanie Hayward, Veterinarian